How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline

0

VMware Skyline is a proactive support solution from VMware that provides machine learning-enabled intelligence to troubleshooting and monitoring your vSphere environment. This includes NSX, Horizon, and other vSphere technologies. In the previous post we took a look at what is VMware Skyline and is it free. In this followup post, we will look at how to install and configure VMware Skyline. Let’s see what steps it takes both from the VMware Cloud perspective as well as on-premises pieces to the Skyline architecture.

Overview of VMware Skyline Installation

The install and configure of VMware Skyline involves two separate parts:

  1. VMware cloud configuration
  2. On-premises collector configuration

Actually, these happen in tandem. First, you begin configuring your VMware Skyline configuration in the cloud. During the process, you are prompted to download the VMware Skyline Collector Appliance OVA. You will deploy the appliance and then connect the appliance to your VMware Skyline cloud instance.

VMware Skyline Cloud Configuration

The first thing you want to do is visit the site https://cloud.vmware.com/skyline. On the page, click the Get Started button to begin setting up your VMware Skyline account.

You will be prompted to sign into the VMware Cloud using your VMware account email address/password.

Sign-into-your-VMware-Cloud-account How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Sign into your VMware Cloud account

VMware Cloud has the concept of organizations. If you haven’t already set this up, you will be prompted to setup an organization to start configuring your VMware Skyline environment.

Create-your-VMware-Cloud-Organization How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Create your VMware Cloud Organization

This begins a Six Step wizard that walks you through setting up the cloud portion of VMware Skyline. First, you will need to Associate Support Entitlement to your Skyline environment.

Associate-your-VMware-support-entitlement How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Associate your VMware support entitlement

Next, Download the Skyline Collector. This will take you to a VMware download page to download the Skyline Collector OVA appliance.

Download-the-Skyline-Collector-appliance-link How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Download the Skyline Collector appliance link

Download the VMware Skyline Collector. At the time of this writing, version 2.3.0.2 is available for download. It is around 585 MB which is small by today’s standards.

Pull-down-the-VMware-Skyline-OVA-appliance-from-VMware How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Pull down the VMware Skyline OVA appliance from VMware

Deploying the VMware Skyline Collector Appliance

There is really nothing unusual about the OVA deployment of the Skyline Collector appliance, however, below are the screenshots from the process for you viewing. Choose the OVA appliance file you downloaded.

Choose-the-VMware-Skyline-OVA-appliance-file How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Choose the VMware Skyline OVA appliance file

Choose the VM name and folder in your vSphere inventory.

Choose-the-VM-name-and-folder-location-in-vSphere-inventory How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Choose the VM name and folder location in vSphere inventory

Choose compute resource.

Select-a-compute-resource-in-vSphere How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Select a compute resource in vSphere
Review-the-OVA-deployment-details How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Review the OVA deployment details

Accep the EULA.

Accept-the-EULA-for-the-Skyline-Collector-OVA How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Accept the EULA for the Skyline Collector OVA

Select the storage for the deployment.

Select-storage-for-the-OVA-deployment-for-Skyline How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Select storage for the OVA deployment for Skyline

Select the network and port group you want to connect the Skyline appliance to.

Configure-networking-for-the-Skyline-appliance How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Configure networking for the Skyline appliance

Configure the appliance root password and networking properties.

Customize-the-Skyline-appliance-including-passwords-and-networking How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Customize the Skyline appliance including passwords and networking

Ready to complete the deployment of the Skyline Collector appliance.

Ready-to-complete-the-VMware-Skyline-Collector-appliance-OVA-deployment How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Ready to complete the VMware Skyline Collector appliance OVA deployment

Configuring the VMware Skyline Collector Appliance

Once the appliance has been deployed and it has fully booted, you can open a VMware Remote Console session and see the details of continuing the configuration. You need to browse out to the FQDN/IP of the appliance and finish out the configuration there. Also, the console session makes a note about egress traffic out from the appliance that you will need to account for if a firewall is filtering outbound traffic.

VMware-Skyline-Collector-appliance-booted-after-OVA-deployment How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
VMware Skyline Collector appliance booted after OVA deployment

Once you browse to the local Skyline Collector FQDN/IP, login using the default credentials. These are:

user: admin
password: default

Browse-to-the-Skyline-Collector-appliance-web-interface-and-login How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Browse to the Skyline Collector appliance web interface and login

You are prompted to change the default password.

Change-your-VMware-Skyline-default-password How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Change your VMware Skyline default password

This will launch the Initial Configuration of the Skyline Collector appliance. The first thing it has you do is Test connectivity.

VMware-Skyline-appliance-initial-configuration-testing-connectivity How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline

Confirm acceptance of the CEIP program.

CEIP-information-notice-for-the-Skyline-Collector How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
CEIP information notice for the Skyline Collector

Next, we need to register the Skyline Collector. This will require generating a token on the VMware Cloud side and entering this in the wizard below of the local Skyline Collector appliance.

VMware-Skyline-Collector-registration-with-the-VMware-Skyline-cloud How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
VMware Skyline Collector registration with the VMware Skyline cloud

Going back to the VMware Cloud side, click the Create New Token button on Step 4 – Register Skyline Collector.

Create-a-new-security-token-for-registering-your-on-premises-VMware-Skyline-appliance How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Create a new security token for registering your on-premises VMware Skyline appliance

You will see a success message for the token generation.

New-security-token-generated-successfully How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
New security token generated successfully

From the VMware Cloud side, you will then see the token which they conveniently place a copy button under the Actions column. Copy the token string.

New-security-token-is-displayed-in-the-VMware-Skyline-cloud-interface-so-you-can-copy-it How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
New security token is displayed in the VMware Skyline cloud interface so you can copy it

Back to the Skyline Collector appliance configuration. Paste the token string int the Collector Registration Token field. Then click the Register Collector button.

Entering-the-security-token-in-the-on-premises-VMware-Skyline-configuration How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Entering the security token in the on-premises VMware Skyline configuration

You should see the collector registered successfully.

Skyline-Collector-appliance-is-registered-successfully How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Skyline Collector appliance is registered successfully

Now, we continue forward.

Continuing-the-VMware-Skyline-on-premises-appliance-configuration How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Continuing the VMware Skyline on-premises appliance configuration

Set a friendly name for the collector.

Define-a-collector-name-for-your-on-premises-environment How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Define a collector name for your on-premises environment

Choose whether or not you want the appliance to auto-update.

Decide-on-auto-upgrade-options-for-the-VMware-Skyline-appliance How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Decide on auto-upgrade options for the VMware Skyline appliance

If you choose the auto-update toggle, this is what that looks like. You can then further set the time you want the upgrade check/update to happen.

Choosing-auto-upgrade-option-for-VMware-Skyline How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Choosing auto-upgrade option for VMware Skyline

Now, we start configuring connections to the on-premises VMware solutions for pulling telemetry data. First up is vCenter Server. Enter the normal connection information. If you have an SSO domain different than vsphere.local, you need to choose the Use Custom SSO Configuration toggle.

Configuring-the-connection-to-vCenter-Server-for-VMware-Skyline How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Configuring the connection to vCenter Server for VMware Skyline

Next, connect to VMware NSX in your environment (optional). Currently, this only supports NSX-V (from what I can tell).

Configuring-connection-to-VMware-NSX How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Configuring connection to VMware NSX

Connect to your VMware Horizon View environment (optional).

Configuring-connection-to-VMware-Horizon How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Configuring connection to VMware Horizon

Connect to vRealize Operations (optional).

Configuring-connection-to-vRealize-Operations How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Configuring connection to vRealize Operations

We have reached the final step. The endpoints should be configured and Skyline Collector is ready to start gathering data from the configured VMware solutions.

Completing-final-initialization-steps How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Completing final initialization steps

You should see the Collector Overview showing as Your Collector is Running.

VMware-Skyline-Collector-is-running-successfully-after-configuration How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
VMware Skyline Collector is running successfully after configuration

Back on the VMware Cloud side, you can click the link to access your Skyline Advisor environment.

Access-your-Skyline-Advisor-environment How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Access your Skyline Advisor environment

You will see a note as well that you will have access to analysis of your data within 72 hours. It will take some time for the first data to be gathered analyzed and recommendations made.

Access-to-your-data-will-take-up-to-72-hours How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline
Access to your data will take up to 72 hours

Wrapping Up

In case you were wondering How to Install and Configure VMware Skyline, hopefully this post will help give you a good overview of the process. Everything involved with deploying Skyline is straightforward and simply has you connect an on-premises appliance with your VMware Cloud Skyline environment.

Stay tuned as I will walk through some of the analysis you get once data has been streamed and analyzed by the Skyline Advisor.

StarWind VSAN